Focus and Scope

Pathogens and Immunity is a free open access journal charging no fees to authors that comprises original research, reviews, and commentaries that focus on microbes and/or host defenses. While papers describing animal research are also of interest to the journal, the work should have relevance to human health and disease. Pathogens and Immunity aims to publish work that is not just interesting but is also insightful, providing new perspectives or asking new questions about microbes and/or host defenses. Topics for review papers and commentaries are solicited by the journal editors.

Pathogens and Immunity publishes the following communications:

Review Articles and Commentaries. These are invited reviews of an interesting topic in immunology and/or infectious diseases. All review articles undergo peer review. Unsolicited reviews and commentaries are not considered for publication. Editorial Board members may recommend reviews and commentaries for consideration. 

Research Articles. These will comprise the bulk of Pathogens and Immunity’s contents. Research articles are typically 3,000 to 6,000 words in length and typically comprise no more than 8 figures or tables.

Letters. Pathogens and Immunity will consider publishing letters from researchers that address issues raised in reviews or scientific communications published in Pathogens and Immunity.

Poems. Pathogens and Immunity will consider publishing poems written by scientists or physicians or poems addressing scientific or medical issues.

Peer Review Process

Submissions are reviewed by Pathogens and Immunity's editors and evaluated for scientific rigor, clarity of expression, interest to the field, and the extent to which conclusions are justified by the data presented. Manuscripts that meet the preceding criteria, are sent out for review by at least two peer reviewers with relevant expertise. Our peer review process is blind and can be double blind if the author so chooses.

Pathogens and Immunity follows the COPE Core Practices as suggested by the Committee on Publication Ethics. All manuscripts are evaluated for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

Reviewers are expected to:

  • Reviewers should feel capable of fair and unbiased reviews when reviewing articles for Pathogens and Immunity and are expected to declare any potential conflict of interest upon receipt of a review request
  • Carry out complete and proper reviews in a timely manner
  • Contribute to editorial decisions by reading the submission in its entirety, providing an evaluation based on the quality and accuracy of the submission
  • Keep the contents of submissions confidential

For more information, please see the Committee on Publication Ethics’ Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

The following steps occur when a manuscript is received by Pathogens and Immunity:

  1. The author(s) submit their manuscript electronically through
  2. The Managing Editor assigns one of four Senior Editors to the submission.
  3. The Senior Editor reviews the submission details and manuscript. If the Senior Editor deems the submission to be inappropriate for the journal then it will be rejected and the author will be notified. If the Senior Editor determines that the submission is applicable to the journal then he or she will send review requests to at least two peer reviewers.
  4. After the peer reviewers have submitted their assessments of the submission the Senior Editor will make one of the following editorial decisions, which will be sent to the author(s) along with the reviews:
    1. Accept
    2. Accept with minor revisions
    3. Accept with major revisions
    4. Reject
  5. If revisions are required the author(s) may provide a revised manuscript. The Senior Editor will then either make a final editorial decision or possibly send the manuscript back to the peer reviewers for a second round.

Pathogens and Immunity welcomes submission of research papers from the scientific community that includes members of its editorial boards. Submissions that list editorial board members as coauthors are handled as follows:

  • The authors must disclose their relationship to Pathogens and Immunity in the Conflict of Interest section of the manuscript
  • If the coauthor is a senior editor, another senior editor is assigned to manage the submission and the conflicted senior editor is not involved in decisions about disposition of the manuscript
  • If the coauthor is a member of the editorial board, that coauthor is not assigned to review the work and is not consulted about the disposition of the manuscript
  • As is the case for all submissions to Pathogens and Immunity, reviewers are selected from institutions that are not represented on the submission's list of affiliated institutions
  • Reviewers should feel capable of fair and unbiased reviews when reviewing articles for Pathogens and Immunity and are expected to declare any potential conflict of interest upon receipt of a review request

Publication Frequency

Pathogens and Immunity publishes articles continuously as they are complete. Published articles are packaged by issues. All materials are available as downloadable PDF files and in HTML format.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Pathogens and Immunity utilizes PORTICO as our primary archiving system.

Human and Animal Ethical Guidelines

The Methods section should include a statement that informed consent was obtained from human subject study participants or their parents or guardians, and that human experimentation guidelines of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and/or those of the authors' institution were followed in the conduct of clinical research, under a protocol reviewed and approved by an appropriate institutional review committee. In the case of animal subjects research, a statement that experimentation was performed in compliance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (or otherwise similar guidelines), and that the study was approved by an appropriate institutional review committee.

Retractions, Corrections, and Errata

Pathogens and Immunity follows the Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics suggestions regarding retractions:

Journal editors should consider retracting a publication if:

  • they have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
  • the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication)
  • it constitutes plagiarism
  • it reports unethical research

Journal editors should consider issuing an expression of concern if:

  • they receive inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors
  • there is evidence that the findings are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case
  • they believe that an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive
  • an investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time

Journal editors should consider issuing a correction if:

  • a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading (especially because of honest error)
  • the author / contributor list is incorrect (i.e. a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included)


The name of each researcher who contributed to the article must be named on the manuscript.

The authors determine the order of the names as they appear on the manuscript.

A person should not be named as an author if they have not been involved in the writing or research.

Authorship Complaints

If an authorship complaint is made Pathogens and Immunity will contact the corresponding author. If the complaint cannot be resolved between the corresponding author, the complainant, and the managing editor then the managing editor will present the complaint to the editorial board.


If an accusation of plagiarism is made Pathogens and Immunity will contact the corresponding author. A side-by-side comparison of the two texts will be made. If there is sufficient overlap of text the comparison will be presented to the editor-in-chief and senior editors. If possible peer reviewers may also review the two texts. If there is sufficient evidence to believe that there may have been a form of plagiarism then the article may be retracted and legal counsel may be sought.

Misrepresented Research Results, Error, or Fraud

If there is an accusation that research results have been misrepresented or misappropriated the editor-in-chief and senior editors will review the research. If possible independent peer reviewers may also review the results. The corresponding author will then be contacted. If the manner cannot be resolved then the research institution may be contacted. If there is sufficient evidence to believe that research results have been misrepresented or misappropriated then the article may be retracted and legal counsel sought.

Ethics Statement

Pathogens and Immunity's goal is to provide the highest quality research on microbial pathogens and host defenses. To achieve this goal, we strive to assure that:

  • All research is original
  • All authors have been involved with the research and/or authorship
  • All potential conflicts of interest are stated
  • All research has been peer reviewed without conflict of interest
  • All appropriate human and ethical guidelines and laws have been followed
  • Any allegations of plagiarism, misappropriation, or fraud are investigated
  • All rules regarding retractions, corrections, and errata are followed

Pathogens and Immunity suggests prospective authors who seek more information about the responsibilities and rights of editors of peer-reviewed journals review the "Editorial Policy Statement" published by the Council of Science Editors (CSE).


Pathogens and Immunity follows a series of steps for potential ethical issues and allegations. The journal board takes any allegations seriously and handles them on a case-by-case basis. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Authorship disputes
  • Accusations of stolen research
  • Omission of essential information
  • Duplicate publication allegation
  • Image manipulation
  • Mislabeling/duplicate images

If authors or researchers have any complaints regarding misrepresented research results, errors, plagiarism, or any other issue regarding ethics please contact Pathogens and Immunity by emailing [email protected]. Your issue will be presented to the editorial board.

The following is an example of the steps Pathogens and Immunity may take in response to a complaint:

  1. The reviewer, an editor, author, or whistleblower raises ethical concern about the manuscript
  2. The complaint is discussed by the editorial board, which will most likely contact the corresponding author for further details
  3. The author supplies relevant details
  4. If the author's response is unsatisfactory, or if no response is received then the author is informed that the review process is suspended until the case is resolved
  5. Pathogens and Immunity's editorial board will then forward concerns to the author’s employer or person responsible for research governance at the institution(s)
  6. If the institution's response is unsatisfactory or a response is not received after multiple inquiries over an extended period of time then Pathogens and Immunity may refer the matter to other authorities


Pathogens and Immunity does not currently have any opportunities for advertisers.

Informed Consent

Pathogens and Immunity follows the suggested guidelines from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ("Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals") regarding informed consent:

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should identify Individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note.

The requirement for informed consent should be included in the journal's instructions for authors. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article.

Conflict of Interest

Upon submission authors are required to electronically sign an agreement that they will disclose any conflict of interest in the manuscript. All authors must disclose in the manuscript any information that may influence their work or results, including sources of funding for the study or sources of funding outside of the study that may potentially influence results or the interpretation of results.


Pathogens and Immunity is published in association with Case Western Reserve University, but is funded by a grant from the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation.

Journal History

Pathogens and Immunity was founded in 2015 and published its first issue in 2016. Why is another journal needed? The Editorial Board of Pathogens and Immunity are productive researchers who are dismayed by the increasing complexity of requirements for submission of research manuscripts to top level biomedical science journals. The Board recognizes that a year or more often passes between the date of first journal submission and date of manuscript publication. The policies and procedures of Pathogens and Immunity have been designed to address these problems.